Making of March Madness

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At 11:30 pm on Monday, April 3, thousands of people poured onto Franklin Street in celebration over the UNC Men’s Basketball team’s win over Gonzaga in the NCAA National Championship Game. With a score of 65-71, the Tar Heels claimed their sixth national title.

In a tournament with match-ups between the top 68 collegiate basketball teams in the country, the NCAA tournament is better known as March Madness to many, including a majority of the CHS student body. According to a survey sample of CHS students, at least two-thirds of students followed the 2017 NCAA tournament in some form. 20.6 percent of students admitted complete devotion to making brackets and watching in angst as the unlikely team (Xavier) took down the favorite (Arizona). However, another 23.5 percent of students had no clue what March Madness even meant.

62.5 percent of CHS students correctly predicted UNC’s tournament success. A win over the Gonzaga Bulldogs meant redemption for the Heels after losing to Villanova by three points at the buzzer in 2016. Only 5.9 percent of students foresaw the Gonzaga Bulldogs’ first ever national championship appearance, and no student thought Gonzaga would be named 2017 National Champion.

The most common predictions for NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament winner after the Tar Heels were reigning champion Villanova and Duke. Both Villanova and Duke ended their championship hopes earlier than expected this year with respective losses to Wisconsin and South Carolina in the second round, shattering brackets all across the country.

.CHS students predicted which NCAA team they thought was going to win the tournament. 64.5% of them predicted it right. Photo courtesy Google Docs.

Although Duke’s meager performance in the NCAA disappointed many fans in the CHS community, the Duke and UNC Basketball programs have each earned one national title in the last three years, continuing their legacies of dominance in men’s basketball on the national stage. As Carrboro lies within a 14 mile radius of the both universities and basketball rivals, it is no mystery as to why many students make bets for the best bracket and sport the colors of their favorite team each year throughout the month of March.